Toughie No 1961 by Giovanni
Hints and tips by Gazza
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BD Rating – Difficulty *** – Enjoyment ***
It’s unusual to get a Giovanni on a Wednesday and I found this one fairly straightforward until I reached the SW corner where two new (to me) words awaited and it’s that corner which pushed my difficulty rating up to three.
Thanks to Giovanni.
Please leave a comment telling us how you fared and what you thought of it.
1a Serious man deemed wise around part of UK creates false god (6,5)
GRAVEN IMAGE: stick together an adjective meaning serious or solemn and a ‘wise man’ then insert the abbreviation for a UK province.
10a Each returning soldier’s protection (5)
AEGIS: reverse the abbreviation for each and add a US soldier and the ‘S.
11a One doing something right, type to be embraced by fellow (9)
PERFORMER: put the single-letter abbreviation for right and a synonym for type or kind inside a fellow or equal.
12a Lasses with hem that’s ridiculous may be such? (9)
SHAMELESS: an anagram (that’s ridiculous) of LASSES and HEM. Excellent!
13a Opening piece of music has magnificence (5)
CHASM: today’s one and only lurker.
14a Soldiers trapped in mountain maybe — a dangerous situation (6)
MORASS: insert the abbreviation for rank and file soldiers into another word for a mountain or large amount.
16a Wheedling little woman Heather pursues retreating Bill (8)
CAJOLING: one of Louisa May Alcott’s little women and a type of heather follow the reversal of the abbreviation for a bill or invoice.
18a Hesitation about objection — speak briefly making counter-argument (8)
REBUTTAL: knit together the reversal of an expression of hesitation, a word for an objection and a verb to speak without its final letter.
20a Military commander giving short demonstration with weapon (6)
SHOGUN: a word for a demonstration or exhibition without its last letter is followed by a type of weapon.
23a Olympic Games time perhaps with no gold? Zero enjoyment! (5)
GUSTO: all the Summer Olympic Games since Sydney in 2000 have taken place wholly or partly within the same month. Remove the chemical symbol for gold from the name of said month and append the letter that resembles zero.
24a A superior monarch’s palace in which a knight is well-informed (2,7)
AU COURANT: string together A, the letter used for superior or upper-class and another word for a monarch’s palace or royal household. Now introduce A and the chess abbreviation for knight.
26a Fish may be lonesome swimming around lake (5,4)
LEMON SOLE: an anagram (swimming) of LONESOME contains the abbreviation for lake.
27a Rebel — audible one in action on the roof (5)
TYLER: which is the definition and which the homophone? It seems to me that the clue works either way. In fact the definition is the rebel who led the opposition to the poll tax (the one imposed in the fourteenth century not the ill-fated twentieth century one).
28a End-points covered by some Parisian master’s original type of philosophy (11)
DETERMINISM: a word for the end-points of railway or bus routes goes inside a French word for ‘some’. Finish with the first letter of master.
2d Jamaican music or Indian music in which note is repeated (5)
RAGGA: a form of Indian classical music with one of the musical notes within repeated.
3d Inappropriate verses priest originally used for evening prayer (7)
VESPERS: an anagram (inappropriate) of VERSES and P[riest].
4d Head is one inclined to get short-tempered, no leader (6)
NAPPER: this is a slang term for the head (new to me). Start with someone who gets short-tempered or blows his or her top and remove the leading S.
5d Trading pioneer on offshore island, one hitting his targets? (8)
MARKSMAN: this trading pioneer started his business by establishing a stall in a Leeds market. Add the name of an island in the Irish Sea.
6d Comedian to voice discontent, adding nothing (7)
GROUCHO: this is a comedian whose surname is a homophone of the trading pioneer of the previous clue. His first name is a verb to voice discontent or be very grumpy with the letter resembling zero added.
7d Plant wrecks top of historic Welsh location — a piece of equipment being introduced (5,8)
MARSH MARIGOLD: bind together a verb meaning wrecks or spoils, the top letter of historic and a town in North Wales (MOLD). Now insert A and a piece of equipment (in the oil industry, perhaps).
8d Politician in London borough is piercing (8)
EMPALING: insert the abbreviation for an elected politician into the name of a West London borough (where many comedy films were made in the 1940s and 1950s).
9d It’s right of king’s eldest son maybe to be touring empire in trouble (13)
PRIMOGENITURE: an anagram (in trouble) of TOURING EMPIRE.
15d In part of cell find bone, old and remarkable (8)
RIBOSOME: charade of a curved bone, the abbreviation for old and an adjective meaning remarkable (as in “That’s **** tattoo you’ve got!”). I’d not heard of this word.
17d Vehicle with a king (merry one) making half-turn (8)
CARACOLE: this is a half-turn in dressage (another word I didn’t know). Start with a passenger vehicle and add A and the name of the merry old king who was fond of fiddlers. The wordplay is actually very straightforward but I went all round the houses, falling for the double bluff and thinking that ‘merry one’ was signalling an anagram of ‘one’.
19d Cane hurt once — sadly hard to forget (7)
TROUNCE: an anagram (sadly) of [h]URT ONCE without the abbreviation for hard.
21d City dwelling without foundation not toppling over (7)
HOUSTON: a domestic dwelling without its last letter followed by a reversal of ‘not’.
22d Indication of pain, say, from little son getting yellowish-white (6)
SCREAM: the abbreviation for son and a yellowish-white colour.
25d A sailor turning up, one with a lot on his shoulders (5)
ATLAS: start with A then reverse an informal word for an experienced sailor.
I liked 19d which seems to have brought back painful schoolday memories for Giovanni but the standout clue for me was 12a. Which one(s) made you chortle?